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Free Soil was originally the name of the township in 1855 in this northern section of Mason County, then later the village in 1915. During the lumber boom it became a regular stop on the Pere Marquette Railroad. Its name came from the "Free Soil," or anti-slavery party originally organized in New York in 1848. The idea for the name originated with Charles Freeman at the first township meeting in 1855, where members of a newly-formed lumbering community called Free Soil Mills expressed strong feelings about the matter. Today, the big lumber is gone, but the village has survived as a successful farming community. Fertile soil has resulted in a variety of crop production, especially apple and peach orchards.|
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